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ERIC Number: EJ1014332
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Jul
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0098-6283
Teaching Clinical (and Nonclinical) Psychology through Applications to the Legal System: Violence Risk Assessment and the Insanity Defense
Costanzo, Marina L.; Costanzo, Mark A.
Teaching of Psychology, v40 n3 p252-256 Jul 2013
The prediction of dangerousness and the insanity defense are two areas where psychologists provide research-based expertise to the courts. Teachers of psychology can use these topics to capture the attention of students and to show how psychological research and theory can inform and influence the legal system. Specifically, teachers can use the issue of violence risk assessment to teach basic statistical concepts, the low base rate problem, the limits of long-term behavior prediction, and the superiority of scientific approaches over intuitive approaches. Teachers can use the issue of the insanity defense to show students how clinical psychologists and the legal system differ in their conceptions of mental disorder, how attributions about intentionality drive sentencing decisions, and how modern conceptions of "free will" informed by cognitive neuroscience challenge fundamental assumptions of the criminal justice system. The topics of risk assessment and the insanity defense can stimulate student discussion by linking basic psychological concepts to an area with which students are already familiar: the legal system. (Contains 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A